Ford South Africa is to begin using the port in the southern city of Port Elizabeth to export its locally assembled Ranger line, following unexpectedly high demand. This will alleviate pressure on its primary export port, Durban, on the east coast of the country.
The company has a plant in Pretoria, 600km inland, and uses rail to ship assembled vehicles to Durban Harbour’s ro-ro terminal, which serves as the country’s primary import and export hub for most OEMs, importers and distributors. However, the terminal is reaching capacity and Ford is producing more cars than it can comfortably ship through Durban.
According to Duduzile Nxele, spokesperson for Ford, international demand for the OEM’s Ranger pickup reached a record high in 2018. She notes that the Silverton Assembly Plant, Pretoria, shipped 68,364 units to export markets – a 16.2% increase compared with 2017.
Combined Ranger production for the domestic and export markets for 2018 reached 98,505 units, which was 8,383 more than the previous year. This is the highest annual production volume to date for Ford’s South African operations, with December 2018 reaching a new monthly record of 11,091 Ranger sales to local and export markets.
“We have invested over 3 billion rand [$210m] in preparation for even higher production capacities for the imminent launch of the first-ever Ford
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